Project Management Tools

This week I attended a very informative talk about tools for project management. It was organized by Kickass PM team and hosted by Mutual Mobile offices downtown Austin. I loved the energy of the presenters and the content, especially for those that want to expand the horizon of PM tools beyond Microsoft Project and the infinite amount of excel  and share point forms.

Here is the summary that Kickass PM team posted on their website.  You can see the presentation slides and more details.

My takeaways:

It is FREE!!  A digital canvas where you can track backlog items, or activities for your sprint with cards. The cards easily move from one list to another to simulate the progress toward completion.  You can add sizing to the cards and it allows you to see a roll up by lists (pretty cool!).

Shahin Murray from Idean, recommended to keep it’s usage from sprint size boards or for sprint to sprint logistics. From his experience, it is hard to have a visual of the overall picture, that is something that Trello could work on.

I started using it right away for an upcoming project. I might extend it to the project team, I’ll keep you posted on any findings.

So far, I found it simple, straight forward to learn, and ideal for small to medium teams with simple projects to tackle. Mark Price from Mutual Mobile mentioned that they use it for the interaction between Product Managers and Development team, to have a crisp way to show priorities and new ideas before they get to be planned for the sprint.

A robust software development tool for agile teams. It provides flexibility to define your own workflow as simple or complicated as your organization needs it. Altough, the recomendation is to simplify and balance the usage of the default workflows versus customization.

It offers a comprehensive array of fields and relevant information to capture detailed tasks, stablish labes that you can later pull for reporting purposes.  If the built in filters and personalized labes are not enough, you can always go crazy in it’s custom query functionality to built any report you need.  The favorite feature were the dashboards where you can create your own gadgets to show burn-down graphs, sprint tracking dashboards among other things.  As a robust software, it can integrate with Trello, Harvest, and confluence (a wiki attached to Jira to organize the information in specific structure that makes sense to customers or end users with cross links back to cards in JIRA).



In simple words time tracking, invoicing and forecast capabilities.  You start the clock when initiate your activity and you stop it when you are done working on that for the day.  Harvest will report the hours classified in many ways.  Billable hours, non billable,  management activities, development, business analysis, etc. which you can configure.  Based on your timeline planning, the calendar for your project, milestones and your resource usage it can calculate your estimate at completions, when are you going to be over budget and how much.  it integrates with JIRA, Trelo, Asana, Basecamp, smartsheet, zendesk support Github Dev, and many more.   I asked Carolyn Elder what do you do with those that forget to stop the timer?   There is mobile app that allows you to stop the timer in case you took a coffee break and realize it!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *